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Danish EV Sales 2019 — Finally Back On Track After 5 Years Of Standing Still!

The 2019 trend that led to record sales of plug-in vehicles is most certainly not going away any time soon: Denmark is jumping on the electric wagon, for real this time.

It was quite the nightmare before Christmas in Denmark, waiting for the newly elected Danish government to firstly finalize the national budget, and secondly pass an ambitious climate law. But it all ended well: The planned increase in electric vehicle taxes was scrapped, and the almost unanimous agreement on the new climate law became a reality. The 2019 trend that led to record sales of plug-in vehicles is most certainly not going away any time soon: Denmark is jumping on the electric wagon, for real this time.

Buckle Up — Denmark Is Going Electric

It was clear from the beginning of 2019 that something was up. As soon as the Tesla Model 3 started delivery to Danish reservation holders exactly 1 year ago, sales surged. Not only Tesla, because people started talking, and people started ordering Kias and Hyundais too.

And here we are, 2019 came and went, and finally the EVs are getting to be mainstream in Denmark. EV Volumes has the fresh numbers — compared to 2018, 2019 more than doubled EV sales. The country bought a total of 9,409 units with a plug (plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles combined). At last, we are back on track to what started in 2015, at which point a new tax scheme killed the Danish EV market. EV share is now at 4.2%. Tipping point? Absolutely.

I’m not very good at predicting things from numbers. Actually, I’m not particularly good at predicting anything really, but I have a feeling. For as long as I can remember, any talk about electric cars has been nerd-talk, but that is ending these days. I find myself going quiet in situations where I would usually preach about the awesome qualities of electric propulsion, and instead find myself content with the role of listening and answering the occasional technical question, because people are focused on the economics and logistics, with a baseline of the desire to do the environmentally friendly thing. But let’s not fool ourselves about the green factor, because it really comes down to this: People are starting to figure out that EVs are cheaper in the long run, and then they acknowledge it’s good for the planet too.

That’s what happened back in December 2015 when Tesla delivered 1,248 Model S units out of 1,553 EVs in the country: Last chance to get a tax-free luxury sedan! December 2019 had a total of 1,157 EV registrations in comparison. So, it’s game on again, and moreover, in the last 5 years Denmark also got a whole lot more renewable energy, and the Danes feel bad about exporting too much wind too cheaply. Let’s charge cars instead!

The Star Of The Show

The Tesla Model 3, which won the Danish 2020 Car of the Year award, was handed over to 2,439 happy new owners in 2019 (587 in December). This model alone is responsible for bumping the BEV share of plug-in vehicles from 32% in 2018 to 59% in 2019. The cheaper versions of the Model 3 started delivery in the second half of 2019, and combined with the prestigious award mentioned, I’m sure we’ll see robust sales numbers in 2020 as well.

The Tesla Model 3 throning at the top leaves the Kia e-Niro in 2nd place and Kia Optima PHEV in 3rd place, followed by the Hyundai Kona EV in 4th place. Nissan Leaf? Barely made it to the top 10. Why that is, I simply do not get. It’s a great car, of very high quality, but I guess Nissan is not trying hard enough. The big German SUVs? Too little too late? Too expensive? It’s really strange, because I thought the folks driving Audi Q’s and Mercedes-Benz GL’s would be all over over these huge eco-friendly monsters.

Before closing, take a look at this fun little count-up I did of articles in the magazine Motor that is published to members of the Danish Motorist Association (FDM) about specific BEVs and electrification in general over the years:

Things are changing, fast!

If you choose to buy a Tesla, feel free to use my referral link to get lots of free miles:

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Written By

Jesper had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of and a long-term investor in Tesla, Ørsted, and Vestas.


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